undertaking VAE procedures are not all on an equal footing. 70% of those applying for level 5 qualifications (ISCED level 2) are employed in the field of healthcare and socialwork. The associations in this sector provide a particularly favourable context for making VAE applications, thanks to the active policies they adopt. They provide their employees with support and cover the cost of accompanying and even training them. Completing the procedure successfully depends on acomplex set of factors. The main challenges ahead are reducing the drop-out rates and simplifying the whole procedure. Chantal Labuyère and Nathalie Quintero, in cooperation with Anne Delanöe. Training and Employment n°87. July-August, 2010.
Generally speaking, the most fortunate employees in terms of the resources available are therefore those covered by collective company arrangements or supported by occupational branch schemes, who benefit from personal accompaniment services and financial assistance throughout the duration of the VAE application procedure. Five years after the Social Modernisation Act was passed and despite several subsequent attempts to reform and improve the institutional VAE system, obtaining level 5 qualifi cations via this pathway is still an extremely arduous task for most applicants, since very few of them have access to all the resources required to succeed.
In a report submitted in September 2008 to the French Prime Minister, the issues focusing on those who give up the battle because the process is too complex and lengthy and because of the low rate of accompaniment were referred to as the weak points in the system. Although the public authorities initially aimed at awarding 60 000 qualifi cations per year, only 30 000 were awarded in 2007.